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Faith and Food: Spain

Available dates : 13 April - 3 May 2018

Spain is renowned for both its faith and its food.
The highlight for Christians visiting Spain is the city of Santiago de Compostela, the resting place of the Apostle James.

Thousands take the pilgrims walk along the Camino or Way to reach the city. This tour will involve a bit of walking (to burn off some calories!)
but we will combine it with a cultural and gastronomic experience enjoying Spanish tapas, local wines and art and of course community.

Join Lisa and Sergio Tarzia as we explore the known and not so well known parts of Northern Spain for the holiday of a lifetime!

Our first tour in what we hope to be a series of destinations focussing on the things we love: God, food, art, nature and each other.

This Christian leisure tour will allow you to travel with like-minded people and explore fascinating and picturesque Northern Spain.

We will enjoy the rustic and delicious flavours of Basque food – tapas, pintxos, seafood and wine to match. We will explore incredible artwork and scupltures at the Guggenheim museum and see the early works of Gaudi. And lastly we will walk the well-worn pilgrimage road and enter the city of Santiago de Compostela by foot, the resting place of the Apostle James.

Along the way we will study the bible, praise God together in church and in nature and wonder in His creation along the Camino.

Join your hosts Lisa and Sergio Tarzia and explore Faith and Food: Spain 2018

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Itinerary

Friday 13 April 2018- Depart Australia

If you are purchasing the full tour package you will depart Australia on an Emirates flight via Dubai to Madrid with a connection to Bilbao.

Saturday 14 April - Arrive Bilbao

On arrival at Bilbao, you will be met and transferred to the Hesperia hotel with the remainder of the day free to recover from your long flight. 
The hotel is located a short walk from the Old Town of Bilbao so you are free to explore some of this trendy industrial city. Otherwise stroll along the Nerviom River and explore the transformation of Bilbao from a rugged industrial city to an arts and culture haven.
Meet the rest of the group for dinner at the hotel.

HOTEL: Hesperia Bilbao
MEALS: Dinner

hesperia bilbao hotel / bilbao, spain    i totes stayed there 5 years ago. Go to the very top floor and up the roof access door to hang out with the huge hesperia neon sign and awesome view of bilbao:

Hesperia Hotel, Bilbao

 

Sunday 15 April 2018 - Bilbao

Today we enjoy a guided tour of the Old Town of Bilbao including the Gothic style Cathedral dedicated to the apostle James. 
We then spend time at the Guggenheim Museum. The rest of the day is free so that you can extend your time at the museum or explore other parts of Bilbao. 

Foodie tip: Alhóndiga Bilbao is a former wine warehouse turned cultural centre. Offering restaurants, art, architecture, a public swimming pool, and even a posh rooftop bar, the Alhóndiga is a must see both during the day and at night.
Bilbao has become over recent years a foodie haven. The city is packed full of Michelin-starred restaurants, and charming Basque eateries that perfectly showcase the region’s wonderful cuisine.
Restaurants such as Zortziko, Andra Mari and Azurmendi will require reservations before you travel. Otherwise there are plenty of quaint pinxtos bars that you can eat in without reservation.
Meet the the hotel for our Pintxos Tour of Bilbao that serves as dinner.

HOTEL: Hesperia, Bilbao
MEALS: Breakfast and Dinner (Pintxos Tour)

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Monday 16 April 2018 - Basque Coast

After breakfast we will enjoy a day trip to  the Basque coast.

A guided tour along the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, one of the most interesting Biscay tourist destinations and its sandy area has given shelter to many flora and fauna species.
Visit to Gernica, a town particularly important for the Basques. 
Then, a guided tour to a Txakoli winery located in the very heart of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Their star product is the ‘Txakoli’, a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine produced only in Basque Country. This guided tour will be completed with an apperitive of local products as a light lunch.

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Visit to Bermeo, known since ancient times as one of the most important fishing ports of the Cantabrian coastline. You will see the popular Basque architecture reflected in the fishermen’s houses. Then a guided visit to the Port area, full of colour and terraces.
On the way to Bilbao, a short stop in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a small rocky island said to resemble a castle, which could explain why it has suffered numerous attacks over the centuries.

HOTEL: Hesperia, Bilbao
MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

Tuesday 17 April 2018 Rioja wine region

After breakfast we drive to the gorgeous town of Laguardia for a guided visit. Surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery, the medieval walled town of Laguardia is the central point of the La Rioja Alavesa wine region. In the village, the original layout can be appreciated and, as you stroll along with your guide, you will be able to see the walls, ramparts, towers and fortified gateways.

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Enjoy a winery visit with tastings and lunch.
Continue to Elciego for another winery visit and tasting as well as time to explore the Old Quarter of the town. Return to Bilbao for dinner at the hotel.

HOTEL: Hesperia, Bilbao
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wednesday 18 April 2018 - Getaria - San Sebastian

After breakfast and check out we farewell Bilbao and travel to Getaria. a gorgeous fishing town also famous for its Txakoli wine. During the Middle Ages, and later also, when harpoons were still thrown by hand, the people from this village were whale hunters.
Visit and lunch at a traditional Cider House: at the heart of the Basque Country and surrounded by apple orchards, this cider farm is the result of cider making tradition which dates back to XVI century. The traditional menu includes: cod-fish omelette, T-bone steaks, cheese with quince preserve and walnuts. And of course, you can drink all the cider you want directly from the barrel.
Continue on to San Sebastian. Few cities have earned such lavish titles as San Sebastian – ‘The Beautiful’, ‘Pearl of the Sea’ and ‘Incomparable’. A visit to this charming Belle Époque resort built around a crescent-shaped bay will show you why it has been admired by so many for so long.
Dinner tonight at the hotel.

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HOTEL: Astoria 7, San Sebastian.
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Thursday 19 April 2018 Tolosa Day Trip

Today we embark on another day trip to the region of Tolosa where we will visit a local cheese producer and enjoy a tasting. Continue to the confectionery museum Museo Confiteria Gorrotxategi.

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Return to San Sebastian for the remainder of the day & evening free (a good opportunity to book a local dinner).
HOTEL: Astoria 7, San Sebastian.
MEALS: Breakfast

Friday 20 April 2018 Pasaia Day Trip

Breakfast at the hotel.
Located on the eastern coast of Gipuzkoa, a few kilometres from its capital, Pasaia is formed by four neighbourhoods situated on a rough and mountainous land, encompassed by the Ulía and Jaizkibel Mountains, and on both sides of the Bay of Pasaia. The most interesting buildings are located in Pasai Donibane and San Pedro. Both of them divided by the bay, they are connected with a small motorboat.

Closely linked to the sea from time immemorial, it’s worth getting to know the primitive shipbuilding techniques and the different boats in Albaola, “the sea factory of the basques”. Albaola  is an innovative environment where nautical craftsmanship and technology is recovered and showcased. It shows the Nao San Juan ( 16th century whaleship) replica construction.

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Return to San Sebastian where you will have the remainder of  the day & evening free.
You have the option to dine tonight at a Michelin star restaurant in San Sebastian (surcharge applies)*. 

HOTEL: Astoria 7, San Sebastian
MEALS: Breakfast

Saturday 21 April 2018 San Sebastian - Free Day

A free day for you to explore or relax.

HOTEL: Astoria 7, San Sebastian
MEALS: Breakfast

Sunday 22 April 2018 San Sebastian – Santillana del Mar - Cobreces – Comillas - Ribadesella incl 10 km camino walk

After breakfast we travel to Santillana del Mar, a beautiful hisotric town in the Cantabria province. The town is in such a perfect state of preservation, with its bright cobbled streets, flower-filled balconies and tanned stone and brick buildings huddling in a muddle of centur­ies of history, that it seems too good to be true. That's what holidays are all about! Enjoy some free time wandering through the town before continuing on to Cobreces and stop at the beach to see the Cliff of El Bolao (you will feel like you are in Ireland). For the more active there is an option to walk along the path from Cobreces to Comillas (approx. 10 km). Lunch is at your leisure before a tour of the town of Comillas including the Old Quarter with a visit to Capricho Gaudi, one of Gaudis early works.

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Beautiful Santillana del Mar

Continue to Ribadesella for dinner and overnight.

HOTEL: Villa Rosario, Ribadesella
MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

Yes this is our hotel!

Monday 23 April 2018 Ribadesella - Colunga 20 km camino walk

Today we set off from Ribadesella and walk approximately 20 kms/3-4 hours to Colunga. 
The Camino continues uphill towards the village of Vega, at the foot of the impressive Monte Redondu. Reaching Vegas beach, we cross the Regatu del Acebu and climb to the charming village of Berbes. Then, the Camino goes downhill to the beach of El Arenal de Mons, where the mouth of the River de los Romeros can be seen. After passing a Templar site and the Benedictine Monastery of Santiago (founded in the 11th century), we arrive in Colunga.
after some free time the bus will return is to Ribadesella for our second night.

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HOTEL: Villa Rosario, Ribadesella
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tuesday 24 April 2018 Oviedo - Ribadeo

After breakfast and check out we drive to the town of Oviedo. The compact but characterful and historic casco antiguo (old town) of Asturias’ civ­ilised capital is agreeably offset by elegant parks and busy, modern shopping streets to its west and north. Oviedo is a fun, sophisticated city, with a stash of intriguing sights, some excellent restaurants and a lively student population(being a university town). On arrival we will do a walking tour of the old town and free time for lunch.
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In the afternoon we will drive to Ribadeo and in doing so we enter into Galicia. Although Ribadeo’s greatest tourist attraction is unquestionably its beaches, the borough also offers many other spectacular areas for us to enjoy. These include the Port of Porcillán, Cargadeiro Viewpoint, the marina, the fishing village of Rinlo or the lighthouse on Pancha Island. The remainder of the day and evening is at your leisure. We recommend dinner at Parrilla O Piano. 

HOTEL: Parador del Ribadeo
MEALS: Breakfast

Wednesday 25 April 2018 - Excursion to Luarca including a 16 km camino walk

Today we drive the town of Cadavedo, less than one hour from Riabadeo where we commence or walk to Luarca. The walk is easy and should take no more than 4 hours to complete.
Hidden on the Asturian coast, Luarca is a quiet town of white houses which preserves all the charm and attraction of its seafaring tradition.
Built around an S-shaped cove sitting between sheer cliffs, the historic quarter of Luarca, its promenade and the port are all worth visiting. A small river divides the town in two, although several narrow bridges are there to unite it. Its most characteristic buildings are the lighthouse, the chapel of Atalaya and the cemetery overlooking the sea, cut from the rock by pickaxe and the final resting place of the remains of the Nobel laureate Severo Ochoa, a native of this town. 
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At the end of the day we will drive back to our Parador in Ribadeo for dinner in the hotel. 

HOTEL: Parador del Ribadeo
MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Thursday 26 April 2018 - Walk into Santiago de Compostela

After breakfast and check out we will farewell Ribadeo and the sea and drive inland to Monte de Gozo which will allow us to walk the last 5 kms of the camino into Santiago de Compostela!

All pilgrims walk into town and congregate in the square outside the Santiago Cathedral. The day is free to chat to others who have completed the walk and enjoy the atmosphere.
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Check in to the 5 star AC Palacio Carmen for a 2 night stay. 

HOTEL: AC Palacio Carmen, Santiago de Compostela
MEALS: Breakfast, Dinner

Friday 27 April 2018 - Santiago de Compostela

Today we enjoy a guided walking tour of the city of Santiago including attending the Pilgrim's Mass at the Cathedral.
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HOTEL: AC Palacio Carmen, Santiago de Compostela
MEALS: Breakfast,Dinner

Saturday 28 April 2018 - Farewell Lunch in Finisterre

Our last day of the tour will be spent driving to the town of Finisterre on the far west Coast of Galicia. In Roman times it was considered the end of the world.
Cape Finisterre is the final destination for many pilgrims on the camino. It is about  90-km from Santiago de Compostela and has a recent tradition for pilgrims to burn their clothes or boots at the end of their journey at Cape Finisterre.

Instead we will enjoy a wonderful lunch overlooking the ocean to celebrate what has been an incredibly enriching journey in so many ways.

Photo of O Fragon restaurante

Return to Santiago de Compostela for our last night.

HOTEL: AC Palacio Carmen, Santiago de Compostela
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Sunday 29 April 2018 - Depart Santiago for home OR enjoy Barcelona extension

After breakfast we check-out and transfer to the Santiago airport for our flight to Barcelona.

Emirates have connecting flights back to Australia OR you can take our 3 night Barcelona option and explore this amazing city!

Monday 2 May 2018 / Wednesday 4 May 2018 - Arrive in Australia

Arrive in Australia if you have not chosen the Barcelona extension
or
If you have chosen the Barcelona extension you will arrive in Australia on Wednesday 4 May

Barcelona extension 29 April - 1 May 2018

If you haven't been to Barcelona before it would be a crying shame to be in Spain and not visit!
29 April: fly from Santiago to Barcelona
Airport transfer to hotel
Free time

30 April: 
Sightseeing with a local guide including Gaudi's remarkable Sagrada Familia and Park Guell as well as a walking tour of the Old City including the Boqueria market.

1 May: Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Sagrada Familia

Tour Guides

Lisa and Sergio Tarzia 

Lisa Tarzia is the owner of Mission Travel and has led several tours and missions since 2007. Her husband Serg introduced her to Spain and she has been hooked ever since. Lisa & Serg honeymooned in Spain, led a walking tour of the Camino in 2014 and are so excited to return to explore the North!

Serg is a passionate Argentine who migrated to Australia 30+ years ago. He is a great cook, talented musician, tri lingual and lover of people. He makes a great tour host!

Information Sessions

Please join us for an infomral gathering with Spanish tapas and wine

Friday 6 October 2017
7pm
The Tarzia home, Box Hill South

We will go over the itinerary in more detail, talk about budgeting for extras, passports/visas and answer lots of questions.

Registration is essential. Click HERE

 

  Pricing is based on 20 people

 

Inclusions:

  • 15 nights hotel accommodation in hotels listed
  • Escorted by Spanish speaking hosts Sergio and Lisa Tarzia
  • Transport in air conditioned motor coach
  • All sights mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides for walking tours as highlighted
  • Meals – breakfast daily, lunch/dinner as listed including Pinxtos dinner tour and lunch at Cider house
  • Porterage in/out of hotels (1 piece per person)
  • Winery visits and tastings
  • Cheese and confectionery tastings
  • Tipping to local guides/driver

Special group airfare includes:
Economy class airfares to Spain flying Emirates (must depart as a group on 14 April)
Domestic flights in Spain (Madrid-Bilbao & Santiago-Barcelona)

Barcelona extension:

  • 2 nights’ accommodation
  • Breakfast daily
  • Guided visits in English in Barcelona including Old Quarter, Boqueria market, Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia
  • Return airport transfers
  • Price based on 15 passengers minimum
Not included:

  • Meals not mentioned
  • Drinks, beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Additional tip for waiters, porters
  • Personal expenses – laundry, internet, shopping
  • Any other items not listed in the itinerary

Bookings

We have booked 10 seats as a group booking for those who want to purchase the full package, first in receive access to these prices.  

Once you have submitted a booking form and paid a $500 deposit, we will be in touch with you to organise your travel.  Final payment due Monday 15th January 2018.

The tour feasibility deadline is Friday 14th October, 2017.  By this date we hope to have reached our minimum numbers.  Bookings will close Friday 15th December 2017, unless sold out prior.

The tour is not guaranteed until minimum numbers are met.  We encourage you to book as soon as possible, so that we can confirm the tour will go ahead. This will allow participants who are wanting to extend and travel further to make their arrangements.

If you would like to book the optional 3-day extension to Barcelona, please advise on booking.  

 

FAQs

What next?

Space on this amazing trip is strictly limited so please book in as soon as you can. 
Please complete a Mission Travel Booking Form and send to us with a $500 deposit to secure your place on the tour.

Groups Department
Suite 6, 670 Canterbury Rd
Surrey Hills VIC 3127
Tel: 61 (0)3 9890 6555
Email:groups@missiontravel.com.au 

Please note on your booking form if you would like to do the full package or land only option and if you want to do the Barcelona extension.

Flight times

International flights are with EMIRATES -  Emirates fly from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth & Sydney to Dubai.

Flights depart late evening (e.g. 9pm) and arrive into Dubai around 5.30am
The all team members will travel together Dubai to Madrid departing Dubai at 7.35am arriving in Madrid 1.25pm
A domestic connection to Bilbao departs Madrid at 3.45pm arriving Bilbao at 4.50pm.

At the end of the tour all travellers will fly from Santiago de Compostela to Barcelona departing at 8.55am arriving Barcelona 10.35am
The Emirates flight departs Barcelona at 3.30pm arriving in to Dubai at 12.25am
Flights to various Australian cities depart 2-3am and arrive into Australia between 10.30pm and 1am 30 April/1 May
An exact itinerary will be provided to you once you have booked on the tour. 

If you choose to purchase the land only your tour will commence at the Bilbao hotel and conclude in Santiago. 
Airport transfers are not included in the land only package.

 

Accommodation

The accommodation chosen for this tour will vary. As we are travelling through regional parts of Spain, accommodation options can be limited. 
Our goal is to provide accommodation that is well located so that you have the ability to go off and explore, grab a decent coffee and enjoy a nightcap at the end of the evening.

Click on the hotel name for a link to Trip Advisor reviews and photos

Hesperia Bilbao - 4 nights

Astoria 7, San Sebastian - 4 nights

Villa Rosario, Ribadesella - 2 nights

Parador del Ribadeo - 1 night

AC Palacio Carmen, Santiago de Compostela - 2 nights

Catalonia Ramblas, Barcelona - 2 nights (optional)

The grounds of AC Palacio, Santiago de Compostela

Walking the Camino

We will enjoy a few days of walking on the tour as follows:

Sunday 22 April 10kms from Cobreces to Comillas

Monday 23 April 20kms from Ribadesella to Colunga

Wednesday 25 April 16kms from Ribadeo to Luarca

Thursday 26 April 5kms from Montegozo to Santiago de Compostela

This is a total of 51 kms over 5 days. The walking is optional! We do have a private coach in the event that you choose not to walk on some or any of the days. There may also be the option to walk part of a day (subject to coach access into small towns).
To maximise your enjoyment of the walking we recommend that you do some walking training before the tour. 
Mission Travel will provide with a training guide upon request.

Good walking shoes purchased well in advance and worn in are a must. You will only need a day pack to carry your bare essentials. The coach will transport your luggage for you.

You will not receive the Compostela certificate for walking these distances. To receive the Compostela you must walk the last 100 kms from Sarria to Santiago. If this is something you want to do, please contact Mission Travel for alternative tour options.

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Travel insurance

It is mandatory to have travel insurance and it is strongly recommended to take out a policy at the time of paying your deposit.

For a quote and automatic 20% discount click HERE

Booking and payment deadlines

This is a small group tour and space is limited to a maximum of 20 people.

There are 10 seats booked on group flights for the full package. Book early to avoid disappointment. 

Bookings for this mission will close on Friday 15 December 2017 unless sold out prior.

A $500 deposit is required to hold your place with final payment is due no later than Monday 15 January 2018.

Cancellation penalties

The $500 deposit is non refundable.
Cancellation 90-45 days prior to departure – 25% cancellation fee of total tour cost
Cancellation less than 45 days prior to departure or once the tour has commenced – NO REFUND
It is vital that you are adequately insured for unforeseen cancellation.

Can I stay on?

When in Europe why not take the opportunity and extend your stay to visit more of this incredible continent! We suggest that you extend your stay AFTER the tour rather then prior, especially if you intend of using the group airfare deal.

Please speak to our staff about cost and options.


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Mission Travel were always very attentive and helpful.

Elizabeth Clarke